Till the End of the Week

Sorry for the limited posting the past couple of weeks. You know how it goes. Anyways, here’s some stuff:

Finally: The U.S. has officially removed Cuba from the list of state-sponsors of terrorism. Only three countries, Iran, Syria and Sudan, remain on the list.

Here’s a terrific recap of what’s going on with the FIFA corruption sting and what it’s all about.

Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for a bombing at an Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia during noon prayers on Friday, the second attack by Islamic State militants against targets in Saudi Arabia.

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was indicted Thursday for paying $3.5 million in hush money. Update: Holy crap it looks like it was to cover up a molestation allegation.

A case coming before the Supreme Court could have the way we count districts and voting populations, which would pretty much just hand Republicans about eight more seats in the House.

The U.S. economy actually shrank in the first quarter.

Let’s be clear: This is a generally good piece, and its point is important, but Bernie Sanders doesn’t have a shot.

Vienna will keep its gay-themed pedestrian signals, set up in advance for a series of gay-themed events, permanently.

Wikipedia: The Sum of all Human Male Knowledge.

Till the End of the Day

Bernie Sanders will/is announcing/announced his quixotic presidential campaign today. Rick Santorum, George Pataki and Martin O’Malley are set to follow later in the week.

Not that you could have missed it, but 62% of Irish voters voted this weekend to legalize same-sex marriage. Marriages could begin as early as September.

As many people call themselves “liberal” as “conservative” for basically the first time ever.

A major heat wave in India, with temperatures as high as 122 degrees, is responsible for the deaths of at least 800.

Meanwhile, at least five people are dead due to flooding in Texas.

New York City’s public housing crisis.

In the latest surprising news, former Senator Mary Landrieu joined a lobbying firm.

Why Charter is trying to buy Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are going to remove artificial colors and flavorings from their products.

The future is an amazing and crazy place.

Till the End of the Day

Robert Kraft, Hilary, Alex Tichelman, meh those stories are elsewhere. Here’s some other stuff:

U.S. troops are training Ukrainian soldiers.

Texas banned its towns from banning fracking.

The Republican candidates are getting asked the wrong “would you invade Iraq” question.  James Fallows with the right questions.

Ed Kilgore is right on about the Iowa Straw Poll.

Quite a bit of drama in the 2015 Kentucky governor race.

FIFA is looking at suspending Israel over allegations that the country discriminates against Palestinian players in its occupied territories.

Need someone to come and gas up your car? There’s an app for that.

Jon Hamm on the Mad Men finale.

New York Times Columnist Line of the Day

If you frequent this here premier “web log,” there’s a good chance you may once or twice have read the New York Times op-ed page. You might even recognize the names of the columnists, who every day spout the most conventionally wise of the conventional wisdom. This is a feature that is dedicated to these folks, highlighting one line that is either funny, ridiculous, strange, or actually intelligent or well-written.

I have no idea how it is that every time I have the time to read the New York Times op-ed page, there’s David Brooks there stupiding it all up, but here we are. Today’s is of course, then, from Mr. Brooks, whose entire column is, well, dumb, but Jesus, this line:

But, on the other hand, if there were no World War II, you wouldn’t have had the infusion of women into the work force.

P.S. It was very nearly the opening line just because of Godwin. But let’s go here for a second:

If the victory in the Cold War taught us to lean forward and be interventionist,

How in the royal fuck is that the lesson you learned from the Cold War?

Morning Constitutional – Monday, 11 May 2015

Good morning, folks. Lindsay Lohan has to complete 116 hours of community service in the next three weeks. Now, your morning constitutional:

Nearly 600 Bangladeshis and Rohingya Muslims in two crowded boats from Burma were rescued off the northern coast of Indonesia on Sunday. Rohingya Muslims are a long-persecuted minority in Burma and are not recognized as citizens. Over 1,600 refugees landed in Malaysia and Indonesia in one day. Thousands of refugees are believed to be stuck at sea.

Saudi King Salman and a number of Gulf state leaders will miss the planned U.S.-hosted summit of Arab and U.S. leaders on Thursday. Since his ascension in January, King Salman has moved quickly to change many of Saudi Arabia’s longstanding foreign and domestic policies.

A Moroccan F-16 jet that is part of the Saudi-led offensive in Yemen went missing Monday, which in addition to heavy fire between rebels and Saudis could imperil a planned five-day ceasefire that is set to begin Thursday.

The Libyan ambassador to the U.N. criticized a European Union proposal to authorize the use of military force in order to stop boats smuggling people from Africa to Europe in Libyan waters.

Russian news outlets reported that Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with the Russian foreign minister in Sochi on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

French President Francois Hollande will be the first French head of state to visit Cuba on Monday.

Campaigns have pretty much stopped using the term “middle class” because the idea has pretty much died.

Global carbon dioxide levels hit a record 400 ppm in April. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie broke with his party and said that climate change is real and that humans contribute to it.

San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban chewing tobacco at its athletic fields.

Finally, paternity case finds that twins had different fathers.

New York Times Columnist Line of the Day

If you frequent this here premier “web log,” there’s a good chance you may once or twice have read the New York Times op-ed page. You might even recognize the names of the columnists, who every day spout the most conventionally wise of the conventional wisdom. This is a feature that is dedicated to these folks, highlighting one line that is either funny, ridiculous, strange, or actually intelligent or well-written.

Today’s is from David Brooks, who in his Mothers Day column today, extols the virtues of aristocracy (because of course he did):

We should fight unfair advantages like legacy admissions, but we wouldn’t want to live in a society in which family influence didn’t happen.

And what do you call your act?